Red Sox - 000 003 000 - 3 6 0Matsuzaka was magnificent through six innings, allowing only four hits (no walks!), while striking out five -- on only 86 pitches.
Blue Jays - 000 000 200 - 2 8 0
His only jam came in the third when he allowed two singles to start the inning. Facing the top of the order, he struck out Fred Lewis, got Alex Gonzalez to fly to right and struck out Jose Bautista. Dice had only two 3-ball counts: Seabass in the first (he doubled) and Edwin Encarnacion in the 3rd (single).
Matsuzaka's first two pitches in the seventh, however, were hit for a single (Adam Lind) and a home run (Aaron Hill). That cut Boston's lead to 3-2 and Terry Francona went to his well-rested pen. Thankfully, Toronto's hitters were as hack-happy as ever -- they lead all MLB clubs in swinging at first pitches (34%*) and in swinging at all pitches (48%), and they are 23rd in P/PA.
* The Jays lead MLB by a huge margin. The Cubs and Reds are at 31% and the Tigers are at 29%. The MLB average is 26%. The Red Sox swing at the fewest first pitches: 19%.
Daniel Bard was able to pitch two innings, needing only eight pitches to get three outs in the seventh, and eight more to retire the side in the eighth. Jonathan Papelbon allowed a two-out single in the ninth, but he also finished his assignment on eight pitches.
Dice (6-6-2-0-5) threw only 88 pitches, his fewest since June 19 of last year.
Litsch retired the first 11 Boston hitters and did not allow a hit until there were two outs in the sixth. He had struck out Daniel Nava and Kevin Cash, but gave up a double to right-center by Marco Scutaro. Darnell McDonald clubbed a 3-1 pitch to deep left for a two-run dong and David Ortiz followed with a solo shot to right. Litsch finished with a 7-4-3-1-5, 99 line.
The Rays beat Cleveland 6-5 in 10 innings and the Yankees beat the Mariners 8-2.
Daisuke Matsuzaka / Jessie Litsch
Since Dice returned from his second stint on the DL this year, he has made three starts: 16 innings, 17 hits, 12 walks, 5.06 ERA. ... Litsch has made five starts this season (all since June 13), with a 7.30 ERA in 24.2 innings.Scutaro, SS
Spiders/Rays, 1:30 PM
Yankees/Mariners, 4 PM
1914 - Babe Ruth makes his major league debut, pitching seven innings in Boston's 4-3 win over Cleveland at Fenway Park. (Link has entries for Ruth in 1916 and 1917, too.)
1976 - At Fenway Park, the Red Sox beat the Twins 6-4. In the fifth inning, Twins center fielder Lyman Bostock drops Carl Yastrzemski's long fly ball after a bucket of popcorn falls in his eyes.